Ribozyme catalysis: not different, just worse

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2005 May;12(5):395-402. doi: 10.1038/nsmb932.


Evolution has resoundingly favored protein enzymes over RNA-based catalysts, yet ribozymes occupy important niches in modern cell biology that include the starring role in catalysis of protein synthesis on the ribosome. Recent results from structural and biochemical studies show that natural ribozymes use an impressive range of catalytic mechanisms, beyond metalloenzyme chemistry and analogous to more chemically diverse protein enzymes. These findings make it increasingly possible to compare details of RNA- and protein-based catalysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catalysis
  • Humans
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • RNA / chemistry
  • RNA / metabolism
  • RNA Splicing
  • RNA, Catalytic / chemistry
  • RNA, Catalytic / genetics
  • RNA, Catalytic / metabolism*


  • Peptides
  • RNA, Catalytic
  • RNA